Ranchi: The sleuths of CBI, investigating into allegations of horse-trading that resulted in the countermanding of March 30 Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand, on Thursday went to the Assembly secretariat, apparently in the hope to get a breakthrough.

"A team of CBI officials reached the Assembly secretariat around 1 pm for some work in connection with their investigation," a senior official at the secretariat said, but he refused to reveal more when asked whether the CBI had examined ballot papers.

A senior CBI official had on April 21 said the agency would approach the Election Commission to examine the ballot papers used in the poll to know whom the MLAs had voted in the cancelled RS elections for two seats.

To know an MLA's choice of candidate, the CBI sleuths could investigate the number of an used ballot paper by scratching a layer hiding it, and then matching with that of the counterfoil, according to sources in the assembly secretariat.

On Saturday last, the CBI raided the premises of three MLAs, Vishnu Bhaiyya (JMM), K N Tripathy (Congress) and Suresh Paswan (RJD) in connection with the case registered under section 171F (undue influence) and 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant.

Raids were also conducted in the premises of industrialist R K Agarwal, president of the Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce, in Jamshedpur and his son-in-law Soumitra Saha in Chaibasa.

Agarwal was one of the independent candidates in the RS polls, which were countermanded following allegations that certain candidates had tried to reach Rajya Sabha through horse-trading.

The police and the Income Tax department teams had seized Rs 2.15 crore from a vehicle on the outskirts of Ranchi on poll day.

The EC is holding fresh elections on May 3 for the two RS seats.